Significant lower VVH7-like immunoreactivity serum level in diabetic patients: evidence for independence from metabolic control and three key enzymes in hemorphin metabolism, cathepsin D, ACE and DPP-IV

Peptides. 2009 Feb;30(2):256-61. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2008.11.004. Epub 2008 Nov 17.


Low circulating VVH7-like immunoreactivity (VVH7 i.r) level was amazingly observed in human diabetic sera. Here, we examined the impact of diabetes type, clinico-biological features and metabolic control on circulating VVH7 i.r level in this disease. ELISA test was used to measure VVH7 i.r in sera of 120 diabetic patients (type 1 diabetes in 64, type 2 diabetes in 56). Three enzymatic tests were also applied to determine serum cathepsin D (CD), dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activities. A subgroup of 24 type 1 diabetic patients negative for microalbuminuria and hypertension were submitted to an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to evaluate the relationship between VVH7 i.r level and blood pressure parameters. The mean serum concentration of VVH7 i.r was drastically reduced in diabetic patients (0.91+/-0.93 micromol/l versus 5.63+/-1.11 micromol/l in controls) (p<0.001). A negative correlation between VVH7 i.r level and daytime diastolic blood pressure existed in type 1 diabetic patients. There was no association of low VVH7 i.r with either type of diabetes or HbA1c level. An increase of cathepsin D activity was found in serum of diabetic patients compared to controls (0.47 U/ml versus 0.15 U/ml, respectively) whereas DPPIV activity was significantly decreased in diabetic sera (50.81 U/ml versus 282.10 U/l respectively). Diminution of VVH7 i.r in sera of diabetic patients was confirmed but still remained unexplained. Relationships between higher systolic blood pressure and decrease of VVH7 i.r reinforce the need to investigate this pathway in this disease to elucidate its role in macro- and micro-angiopathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cathepsin D / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / enzymology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / enzymology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / immunology
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptide Fragments / blood*
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / metabolism*


  • Hemoglobins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • VV-hemorphin-7
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • Cathepsin D